Teenage Treasure Hunting In A Misfit City

Nothing's happened in Wilder's hometown since they filmed that cult kids' adventure movie there in the '80s...but that's ancient history. Until one day, she and her friends come upon a centuries-old pirate map drawn by someone named Black Mary...and find out there might be some REAL adventure in their tiny town after all! In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, screenwriter Kiwi Smith (“10 Things I Hate About You,” “Legally Blonde”), co-writer Kurt Lustgarten, and artist Naomi Franquiz talk about Misfit City, their new series from BOOM! Studios’ BOOM! Box imprint which has now been collected in the Misfit City Volume 1 TP (AUG171356) that's in stores December 13!


PREVIEWSworld: Where did the inspiration for Misfit City come from?

Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith: Kurt’s love of The Goonies paired with my love of all things female-ensemble-y planted the seeds for Misfit City. We were on a road trip that led us to Astoria, Oregon, the town where The Goonies was filmed, and the idea for Misfit City was born. I grew up in a small town in Washington state, and my friends and I always had the desire to break out and go on an adventure, so Misfit City is the fantasy adventure version of my childhood.

Kurt Lustgarten: A lot of the inspiration for Misfit City came from iconic kids' adventure movies from the 1980s, like The Goonies, The Monster Squad, Explorers, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It felt like those kind of stories were missing today—or, at the very least, rarely get to be experienced through the lens of a rad bunch of girls. I grew up exploring the mountains and forests of the Northeast with my friends and those are some of my fondest memories.

PREVIEWSworld: Naomi, how did you go about designing the town and these fantastic treasure-hunting gals?

Naomi Franquiz: I got the chance last year to get a good look at the Pacific Northwest (via Oregon and Vancouver, BC) and maybe I'm a little (read: a lot) obsessed with the whole "misty mountain/forest" aesthetic. I mean, all I've known is hot, flat, cypress-swamp, and palmetto-studded forests. Suffice to say, I'm drawing the town with all my favorite memories from those trips. The girls, however, are a mix-up of friends I grew up with, attitudes I love, and fashion it's WAY too hot to wear down here.

PREVIEWSworld: Which character do you relate to the most? The least?

Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith: I relate to Karma the most, because she’s an innocent optimist.  My heart belongs mostly to Pippin, though, because she’s based on real-life Pippin.

Kurt Lustgarten: I love the way Wilder tries to see the best in her friends and her hometown, even though they can all sometimes get on her nerves. She's a strong character and feels like the kind of person you want to be around when you're lost in a seaside cave and surrounded by bad guys. Aside from her, I think Macy is super cool and I adore her biting sense of humor. I'd say the character I relate to least is probably Luther Denby—that guy is BAD NEWS.

Naomi Franquiz: If Wilder and Dot had a lovechild, that would be me. Ambitious and hungry for knowledge. I always want to know more and be more (personal growth, professional growth, artistic growth, etc.). Honestly, I'm never satisfied with my current self, so the drive and motivation these girls have is something I relate to closely. Karma, however—as much as I love her bright, bubbly personality and devotion to her friends and family, I'm a little too ambitious to be as satisfied with settling as she is.

PREVIEWSworld: If you found a mysterious treasure map, would you follow it? What would you want the treasure to be?

Lustgarten: If I found a mysterious treasure map? What makes you think I haven't already found it and now we're sharing it with you through Misfit City?

Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith: I second that!

Naomi Franquiz: I'd follow the heck out of that map. I grew up chasing the coattails of two adventurous older brothers, so I'm far too nosy for my own safety. As much as Little Naomi wanted to be like Yubaba from Spirited Away, adult(ish) Naomi would rather find a treasure chest full of notes and doodles from old painting masters and cartographers. I just need to know what was going through their heads when they drew dolphins with scales and twisting snake tails, OK?

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